Continuing on from my 2010 Inkys shortlist & interviews post, I have a mini-interview with the winner of last year's Gold Inky and one of this year's judges, Randa Abdel-Fattah!
Steph: Tell me a bit about yourself (perhaps your favourite books!), and how you came to be an Inkys judge. Are you a writer yourself?
Randa: I'm a writer and lawyer. I write young adult novels (Does My Head Look Big In this? was my first and my most recent is Noah's Law, a teenage legal thriller). I also now write junior fiction and I'm releasing my first junior fiction titles in March 2011- The Friendship Matchmaker is the first and Buzz Off is the second. Oh and I've just signed up for my first adult novel. I was invited to be an Inkys judge as I had the honour of winning the Golden Inky in 2009 for my novel, Where the Streets Had A Name.
Steph: Have you read differently as a judge than you read normally, for enjoyment? Have you enjoyed the judging process? (The discussions, etc.)
Randa: Actually, I made a point of not approaching the books any differently. I didn't want to make an artificial assessment of each book's worth. The things that make me love a book as a reader- character, plot, voice, style, that extra magic- are equally relevant when I read with a judge's hat on. I think it was extraordinary that the shortlist for the Golden Inky was virtually unanimous- a clear indicator that the books truly deserved the recognition they received.
Steph: I know you're not allowed to talk about favourites... but I'm just wondering, do you have a clear favourite to win at this point? (Don't tell me what it is!)
Randa: No I don't. I honestly think the shortlisted books are neck to neck and equally worthy of the final prize. I can't wait to see what Australia's young adults have to say!
Thanks so much, Randa! For more details about the Inkys and to vote, head to Insideadog and check out Randa's website here.